Most breathing techniques focus on yoga, stress management or meditation. But we can use breathing techniques to help us get the most out of more intense workouts, too. Have you ever played a sport or taken a high-intensity class that left you breathless? Master this technique to help slow your breathing and heart rate so you can recover faster.

For beginners

If you have low blood pressure, being in this position can be challenging after your heart rate slows. Make sure you stand back up slowly and look up first to prevent lightheadedness.

Best practices

  • As with any breathing drill, the timing is simply a guideline. Go with what you can do, and slowly increase the length. Feel free to pause and take a “regular” breath whenever you need.
  • Resist the temptation to hold your breath; you want to keep it moving in this exercise.

Master this: Recovery Breathing

  1. Bend at your hips and knees, sticking your butt out. Put your hands on your knees.
  2. Close your mouth and breathe in and out through your nose.
  3. As your heart beat starts to slow, try to take a breath in for two seconds and then out for two seconds.
  4. Increase the length of each breath gradually, working your way up to four seconds in and four seconds out.
  5. Continue this until you are fully recovered and able to breathe normally again.

Photo credit: Tom Casey,